A Response to Hugh Jordans Attack on Billy Hutchinson

A Response to Hugh Jordan’s Attack on Billy Hutchinson.



In recent days and particularly in wake of the verdict on the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 journalism has been much to the fore.  From a sporting point of view we have been privileged to read articles by Brian Reade, Oliver Holt and Brian Woolnough and in doing so it serves to highlight the totally irresponsible reporting from the time of the disaster—mainly from Sun newspaper journalists, most notably Harry Arnold—all overseen and rubber stamped by Kelvin McKenzie.


  Sadly the readership—especially here in Northern Ireland—are more used to the latter type of writing as opposed to the first.  And even more sadly although we are virtually force fed it we have been accustomed to it and in many cases crave more of the same.  It is like eating junk food—we know it is bad for us but the more we eat the more we want.  Sunday past seen another example of inaccurate, spiteful, childish and downright irresponsible journalism from one of our greatest exponents of that type—Hugh Jordan.  As any regular reader of his column will know Hugh has made a name for himself in journalism by writing about his obsession—Glasgow Rangers.  It would be unusual for him to go through a single article without giving Rangers a mention.  Another virtue Hugh has is his capacity to condemn sectarianism through his rants about everything red white and blue.  Rather ironic.
The focus of Hugh’s attention this week was Billy Hutchinson.  Billy as we all know is the current leader of the Progressive Unionist Party and a dedicated community worker in one of the most challenging areas in Belfast—Mount Vernon.  Jordan’s take on these facts is that Billy is supposedly the PUP leader and is only a community worker because he copied Republicans who he claims started the practice long before Loyalists.  How ludicrous is this?  Before entering politics Billy worked tirelessly for 8 years in one of the most challenging areas of this country—West Belfast.  Jordan also claims that despite being heavily funded Hutchie’s position as a community representative has returned little and doubts the veracity of such positions.  Without having to ask Billy I would imagine if he was asked to swop his role and salary with Hugh Jordan for six months he would be the happier of the two.  Then again I couldn’t see Jordan getting the results Billy has in the impoverished area he serves—nor can I see Billy sitting in the Duke of York or Whites Tavern, nursing a G and T and pontificating on how best to denigrate Loyalism.  Jordan is the atypical Northern Ireland tabloid journalist.  He is the master of lazy journalism—relies on gossip and innuendos to produce stories—refuses to deal in facts and in most cases doesn’t resort to backing up stories for verification.  And adheres to the old adage—don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.  Bill Hutchinson certainly has nothing to prove to Hugh Jordan or his readership.  If this journalist took the time and made the effort to substantiate his writing he would find that Hutchinson is a more than capable leader of the Progressive Unionist Party—an unenviable job that requires dedication and not inconsiderable nous.  He certainly fits the bill by way of serving working class Loyalism in his role as an inspirational and hands on community worker, who despite the allegations from Hugh Jordan does get things done.


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